Tuesday, 22 November 2016

History fun facts November 22

On This Day in 1718, Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, the infamous and notorious and bulbous Pirate, was defeated in battle.
The boarding party, led by Royal Navy Lieutenant, Robert Maynard, found Blackbeard and ran him through real good, resulting in the pirate's death.
Edward Teach was born in or around 1680, and in or around the English city of Bristol. There really isn't much to go on when it comes to Edward Teach's early life. We do know he was born as a baby which had an extraordinary amount of facial hair, even for a baby from Bristol, which is saying something.
Did you know: Blackbeard could read and write.
Now, I know what you're thinking. Big deal?
Well, it actually was at the time. Education back then wasn't as freely available as it is today. This means we could assume Edward Teach, "if that's even your real name," was born into a reasonably respectable and wealthy family.
We know he could read and write as he communicated with merchants, made contracts, and when he was killed, he had a letter addressed to him from the Chief Justice and Secretary of the Province of Carolina.
Edward Teach had been a pirate for years when he captured a large French merchant vessel called La Concorde. He renamed the ship the Queen Anne's Revenge, refitted it from head to toe, stern to bow, and installed 40 guns.
For the next few years, Teach pirated the living daylights out of anything and everything he could. Movies, music, Game of Thrones. He didn't care what he pirated. His reputation for ruthlessness spread and soon every ship that sailed the seven seas, and some rivers, and a few bathtubs, feared him.

The guy was actually crazy.
And I really do mean Nutso-Whacko-Jacko crazy. To give an example, he tied lit fuses under his hat to frighten his enemies. Seriously, lit fuses. They go Kaboom.
"You were only supposed to blow the bloody hat off."
He actually retired at one point.
Yep, he'd had enough. He sailed the Queen Anne's Revenge aground on a sandbar and retired with a royal pardon.
The quiet life didn't agree with him, though. He returned to sea, as it's a pirate's life for me. Yo-Ho-Ho, and a bottle of rum, me matey.
He was killed on the 22nd November 1718 after a ferocious battle of battles. There was something wrong with his Poop Deck. It had been blown off. Ouch.
His ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, was sunk and lost to the sea.
Also on this day in history
On This Day In History in 845, Nominoe, build them up and knock them over, the first King of all Brittany, defeated the Frankish King Charles the Bald at the Battle of Ballon.
Ironically, despite being Frank, Charles the Bald wasn't happy about the constant references to his lack of hair. This led to him being distracted during the battle after chasing his wig after a strong gust of wind blew it off his head.
On This Day In History in 1869, the clipper Cutty Sark was launched from Dumbarton, Scotland. It was one of the last clippers built, and the only surviving one to this day.
On This Day in History in 1963, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States of America, was assassinated in Texas by Lee Harvard Oswald.
On This Day In History in 1975, Juan Carlos was declared King of Spain after the death of Francisco Franco.
On This Day in 1990, Margaret Thatcher, the British Prime Minister, pulled out of the Conservative Party Leadership election, ending her reign as Prime Minister.
On This Day in 1995, Toy Story was released. It was the first feature-length movie created entirely by using CGI.

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